There is no denying that good audio equipment deserves the highest quality interconnects and cables. They carry signal and are part of the system and must be considered as an important component in the audio chain. The quality and cost need to be commensurate with the quality of the equipment they connect.
However, there are many that we have experienced that do not sound good despite carrying expensive price tags. Often these sound bright and hard, initially ‘impressive’ but long term fatiguing. Many are compressed in sound stage, restricting the image to the speaker cabinets.
Power cords are also very important and can change the sound of the audio components as dramatically as the signal cables. Sometimes more so. Whilst appreciating this is a controversial area, we are totally convinced that a sensible spend on properly designed power distribution is very important to the quality of sound. And, as we have found with signal cables, not all audiophile brands of power cords sound equal. Some famously branded power cords that are often well reviewed can make the sound of the electronics worse. More ‘hifi impressive’ but less natural or musical, in our opinion!
We offer cables from four manufacturers that sound natural, open and transparent. They all create realistic three-dimensional sound-stages with great depth. Each of them has a wide variety of grades offering different performances at different prices.
Our selection of well run in demonstration cables (with real music for the correct time length; NOT with cable burn-in devices which can damage some designs) that can be offered for home evaluation in the comfort of your listening environment. Certain conditions apply so please call for details.
This Japanese company manufacturers the best connectors and accessories for cables and electronics we know. They are largely made from their pure Alpha-OCC copper which is then plated with either Gold or Rhodium. Their plugs and connectors are capable of taking large conductors with ease and without strain to the wires. This results in a very pure transmission of the audio signal or, in case of power cords, the AC current. Their contribution to the sound of the cable cannot be overstated with a very audible sonic upgrade.
Their interconnect cables, speaker cables and power cords are manufactured to the highest level with no compromise that might affect the purity of the transmission. Thier sound is largely without bias in any part of the audio spectrum and a level of transparency that is rare even amongst the finest audio cables available. Big soundstages are generated, both deep and wide and fine detail resolved easily. Refined, elegant and very pure sound.
Some examples of prices are listed but the range of products is vast. Please call for further information on any products not listed and prices.
Evolution Audio II interconnect cable – 1.2m set RCA (pictured) £604
Evolution Audio II interconnect cable – 1.2m set XLR £690
Evolution Speaker II speaker cable – 2.0m set 4mm or spade £555
Evolution Speaker II speaker cable – 3.0m set 4mm or spade £721
Audio Reference III interconnect cable – 1.2m set RCA £1079
Audio Reference III interconnect cable – 1.2m set XLR £1233
Speaker Reference III – 3.0m set 4mm or spade (pictured) £1469
Digi Reference III RCA – 1.2m £770
Digi Reference III XLR - 1.2m £853
Power Reference III mains cord UK – 1.8m £1146
Lineflux interconnect cable – 1.2m set RCA £1662
Lineflux interconnect cable – 1.2m set XLR (pictured) £1886
Speakerflux speaker cable – 2.0m set 4mm or spade £2241
Speakerflux speaker cable – 3.0m set 4mm or spade (pictured) £2643
Powerflux mains cord UK– 1.8m (pictured) £1746
Powerflux mains cord UK 20A IEC - 1.8m £1789
Nanoflux mains cord UK - 1.8m £4138
A large improvement in sound can be achieved by changing the UK plug on the end of any quality mains cord. The effect is additive if the IEC connector is also changed. This is easy to do and produces an immediate, and very cost effective, upgrade in sound.
FI-1363 UK plug – gold – straight or right-angle £90
FI-1363 UK plug – rhodium – straight or right-angle £111
FI-1363 UK plug NCF rhodium - straight £138
FI-C15 Gold compact design £42
FI-C15 Rhodium compact design £64
FI-11 IEC – gold £52
FI-11 IEC – silver £52
FI-11 IEC – rhodium £68
FI-12L IEC - rhodium £77
FI-15 Plus IEC - gold £40
FI-15 Plus IEC – rhodium £45
FI-28 IEC – gold £82
FI-28 IEC – rhodium £105
FI-32 16A IEC – rhodium £134
FI-48 - rhodium £193
FI-50 IEC – rhodium £234
FI-50 NCF rhodium £299
FI-52 16A IEC – rhodium £258
FI-52 NCF 16A IEC - rhodium £322
FI-68 IEC - gold £149
FI-68 IEC - rhodium £172
We strongly believe that the fuse in any UK 13 amp plug seriously downgrades the sound quality of the component the power cord is connected to. Furutech do have an audiophile grade fuse which can reduce this detrimental effect to a reasonable extent but it is quite expensive. Far better results can be achieved by changing to Schuko European plugs that do not have fuses in them at all. This route would necessitate changing wall sockets (we can supply the necessary European back boxes) or using one of their mains distribution blocks – see below.
We are able to offer a ready to use Furutech power cords made from their un-terminated power cables off the reel. We recommend the use of the long standing, superb FP-Alpha 3 power cable, which has been reintroduced, and the new FP-TSC31 which incorporates a screen. Both are capable for transmitting very high current so ideally suited to powerful amplifiers.
These can fitted with a FI-1363 UK plug, straight or right angle, and an IEC of choice. We would recommend this to be either the FI-28 rhodium or gold. Other combinations by quotation.
Examples of the most popular choices are:
1.5 m FP-Alpha 3 cable with FI-1363 UK (R) and FI-28 (R) IEC £452
To fit the new FI-1363 NCF UK (R) plug add £27.00
1.5 m FP-Alpha 3 cable with FI-1363 UK (G) and FI-28 (G) IEC £407
1.5 m FP-TCS31 cable with FI-1363 UK (R) and FI-28 (R) IEC £407
To fit the new FI-1363 NCF UK (R) plug add £27.00
1.5 m FP-TCS31 cable with FI-1363 UK (G) and FI-28 (G) IEC £367
Other combinations by quotation. Delivery at cost.
These power cords will outperform most other competitive products in terms of sound quality up to 3 times their price.
The NCF Booster is a clamping device is designed to go around the IEC connector of a power cables at the point of entry into the chassis of a component. It has an adjustable height control so can lift and align the IEC optimally with the inlet of the chassis. As many will have noted, with audiophile cables of a certain thickness and weight these can bend the connection paint downwards and potentially distorting or damaging the rear chassis. This better alignment produces optimal transfer of energy through the IEC connectors.
The NCF BoosterSignal is similar in concept in that it has a flat surface that elevates speaker cables from the floor but has no top clamp. It can be adjusted to any height with in reason with extensions to the vertical structure. It also has NCF technology in the horizontal lifter, similar to the NCF Booster and is also slightly pressurised. Around 4 -5 devices will be required per 2.5 to 3.0 m run of speaker cable dependent on the stiffness of the cable.
These clever device also incorporated Furutech’s NCF technology (Nano Crystal Formula) which produces negative ions that reduce static charges and thereby improves clarity and transparency. In addition the nano ceramic particles have piezoelectric properties that provide additional damping properties.
Our experiments in a variety of systems suggest that different components respond differently to the NCF Booster and NCF BoosterSignal. At best the sound is clearer and more transparent. The sound can appear to be louder and, in some cases, the height of the sound picture is enlarged. In other applications the sound can become a little compressed and the tonal balance shifts towards being a little bright. We suggest a trialling samples before purchase. Call for samples for sort term home loans.
NCF Booster £290
NCF BoosterSignal £175
The long awaited UK wall sockets are here. All significant conductor parts are made from solid copper, plated with either gold or rhodium, and the whole construction is of the high standard we have come to expect from Furutech. The cover plates are easy to fix to a standard UK in wall arrangement.
FP-1363-S (G) single top plate; gold plated £88
FP-1363-D (G) double top plate; gold plated £142
FP-1363-S (R) single top plate; rhodium plated £111
FP-1363-S NCF (R) single top plate; rhodium plated £135
FP-1363-D (R) double top plate; rhodium plated £170
FP-1363-D NCF (R) double top plate; rhodium plated £214
By replacing the wall socket with the Furutech Schuko versions, you eliminate the last fuse in a power cord connected from here to your power distribution block. If you combine this with the Schuko power distribution blocks and plugs as described below, you then arrive at the best sound from your investment in quality audio cables. The benefits cannot be overstated. You are fully protected by your circuit breakers on your consumer board which act much faster than fuses in the 13A UK plug anyway. If in doubt, please consult your qualified electrician or call us for more details as we have had several clients go this route with great success.
Installation of these wall sockets should be done by a qualified electrician. To accommodate the different fixing positions required for Schuko wall sockets we can provide European back boxes, either in-wall or surface mounted variants, at very modest costs.
There are two type of wall socket. The FP prefix denoted the use of a standard off-white plastic surround. The FT prefix denotes the use of a carbon fibre surround that provides additional resonance absorption for a cleaner sound.
FP-SWS Gold single wall socket £71.00
FP-SWS-D Gold double wall socket £136.00
FT-SWS Gold single wall socket £102.00
FT-SWS Rhodium single wall socket £143.00
FT-SWS NCF Rhodium single wall socket £171.00
FT-SWS-D Rhodium double wall socket (pictured) £213.00
FT-SWS-D NCF Rhodium double wall socket £235.00
The mains distribution blocks from Furutech have a large effect on the sound and used with their power cords give a result far in excess of any mains filtering, conditioning or re-generating that we have heard. All without any compression to the sound – in fact quite the opposite is achieved. Once again, a big step up in the level of transparency, dynamics and purity of your system’s sound. Unfortunately they are only available with Schuko European sockets. However, by using the appropriate Schuko connector on the ends of the required power cords, the quality of sound improves further mostly due to the fact the fuse in the UK plug is eliminated. The distribution blocks require a power cord to feed them and this is connected to the wall socket with a UK 13 amp plug – preferably a Furutech one. We have many customers who have gone this route and the feedback has been nothing short of eulogies.
e-TP60 – 6 Schuko outlets – gold £316
e-TP66 G - 6 Schuko outlets linear layout £339
e-TP66 R - 6 Schuko outlets linear layout £385
e-TP609 NCF – 6 Schuko outlets – rhodium (pictured) £1530
e-TP809E NCF - 6 Schuko outlets - rhodium NEW £3482
FI-E11 Copper £40
FI-E11 Gold £60
FI-E11 Rhodium £78
FI-E12L Rhodium £87
FI-E38 Gold £94
FI-E38 Rhodium (pictured) £121
FI-E48 Rhodium £222
FI-E50 Rhodium £270
FI-E50 NCF Rhodium £340
Well worth the effort to change and the benefit to sound is very audible.
T-13A Rhodium - wall plug fuse £70
TF 20x5mm internal fuse £43
TF 32x6mm internal fuse £49
Other products could be available. Please ring for details.
This Canadian company makes some of the finest, most musical cables we have heard over many years. There is very little artifice to their sound just allowing the music to be heard naturally. Nothing added or taken away. They particularly excel on transparency, holography and a very natural tonal balance. No hint of brightness – so common in many modern cables we have recently auditioned, especially those that seem to get the rave reviews. They are not about instant ‘impressive’ sounds but long term musical listening pleasure. Less ‘hifi’, more music.
Their cables are composed of high purity oxygen-free copper. As with many of our favourite sounding cables, copper delivers the most neutral, transparent and natural musical signal.
Cold-welding (a very high pressure form of crimping) of all connectors is also a unique feature to this cable manufacturer. No solder is employed. They firmly believe in the superior sound of cold-welding in the termination process. During their research process, a listening panel voted unanimously toward cold-welding terminated cables, 10 out of 10 times. Cold welding offer the following benefits: a better defined soundstage, maximum dynamics, real-life midrange and amazing 3D imaging.
A unique wire-weave pattern and the use of finest materials available also contribute to the renowned GutWire sound. All the cables employ a sophisticated shielding to reject Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). Effective shielding assures that the signal is not polluted and with their shielding design, up to 98% of the RFI and EMI are filtered out without any comprise to the audio signal. Result - a very low noise floor. Some cable manufacturers rely on capacitors, coils or resistors to alter the audio frequencies. Others modify generic cable products with their own connectors. While these approaches work in certain degree, they impose limitations. GutWire Audio does not rely on pre-manufactured designs or other additives to achieve the ‘ultimate’ sound. Their secret is their own unique design, hand-made construction and the use of the best materials in the world.
A large selection of signal cables, digital and USB cables and power cords exist. We show here a few selected examples but please phone for further information and to arrange a home evaluation.
Congruence SE – 1.0m £395
extra 1.0m £95
Synchrony Square SE – 1.0m £695
extra 1.0m £230
Eon-Z – 1.0m £1750
extra 1.0m £500
Additional cost for balanced XLR/XLR £400
Uno-S – 1.0m (pictured) £2750
extra 1.0m £830
Additional cost for balanced XLR/XLR £300
Congruence SE – 8 feet (2.46m) £820
extra 2 feet (0.61m) £75
Synchrony Square SE – 8 feet (2.46m) £2200
extra 2 feet (0.61m) £150
Chime Cube – 8 feet (2.46m) (pictured) £4400
extra 2 feet (0.61m) £300
Vision - 8 feet(2.46m) £8800
extra 2 feet (0.61m) £600
Vision AE - 8feet (2.46m) £9000
extra 2 feet (0.61m) £615
Synchrony Square SE £300
Chime Cube £550
Vision Cube £1490
NEW POWER CORD RANGE GutWire have introduce a new range of power cords called the SV Series. This is a development of the SP Series and is to replace it. It will run in parallel with the existing Cube and Clef Square Series. Based on the success of the SP-series, the SV-series is further improved by using new 101% IACS solid-core copper conductor. Natural minerals, based on rare earth compounds, are uniquely employed to absorb RFI and EMI.
The SV Series sound is different to that of the Pure Series. Very similar in terms of sound staging but with a tilt towards the higher frequencies and less bass weight. The choice between the sound of the SV Series vs the Pure Series will be to the customer's taste and their system's tonal character. Please call for more details and advice on this aspect.
The SV Series power cords consists of each conductor screened and finished individually and then braided. This leads to a large outer diameter cable and may be ergonomically difficult where equipment is compactly housed. There will be a more compact version of the SV Series available whereby all the braided conductors are housed in a single sleeve making it more acceptable for UK audio system application.
Basic Clef Square – 5.5 ft (1.7m) £350
extra length £35 per ft
G Clef Square – 5.5m (1.7m ) £460
extra length £45 per ft
C Clef Square – 5.5 ft (1.7m) £790
extra length £80 per ft
Iris Cube – 6ft (1.85m) £800
extra length £80 per ft
Clear Cube – 6ft (1.85m) £930
extra length £80 per ft
Air Cube – 6ft (1.85m) £1400
extra length £140 per ft
Power Cube – 6ft (1.85m) (pictured) £1800
extra length £180 per ft
with Furutech FI-E50 Schuko £150
Pure Cube - 6 ft (1.85m) £2200
extra length £220 per ft
with Furutech FI-E50 Schuko £150
X Cube - 6ft (1.85m) £4500
extra length £450 per ft
with Furutech FI-E50 Schuko £150
SV-12 Power Cord – 6 ft (1.85m) £1700
extra length £160 per ft
SV-28 Power cable - 6ft (1.85m) £7900
extra length £800 per ft
Perfect Ground and Ultimate Ground cable
An extremely effective and simple way of improving the sound of any audio system. A single cable to enable the proper grounding of electronic components. Simply attach the RCA or XLR, plug end to any spare input socket on your integrated amplifier or pre-amplifier. The mains plug end goes into any spare wall socket, or into a mains distributor. This creates the shortest route to ground from the circuit boards and introduces a different ground potential into the system.
Only the earth pin in the mains plug is connected to the ground part of the RCA/XLR connector, or to a spade; the live and neutral pins are completely sealed off inside the mains plug. Obviously, it would be completely inappropriate to transmit AC voltage to a component's chassis.
It takes moments to hear the sound stage increase in depth and width, the tonal balance has more weight and is more natural, less "hifi".Increased transparency results in better resolution of fine detail and sharper image focus.
Experiments have shown that trying either left or right input sockets to a channel can gives a slightly different sonic results. Just choose the one you like the sound of best.
Far more effective than the passive EntreQ Tellus grounding box and cables, or the Vertex equivalent, or the active Telos Ground Box. No compression of dynamics, or added colouration, which can occur with alternative systems.
The Perfect Ground cable is made from multi-strand high purity oxygen free copper. The Ultimate Ground takes the construction and the performance to a higher level using a small number of solid core conductors made from a special copper. There is more shielding and anti-resonance damping in the outer jacket. The connectors can be RCA, XLR, spade, clip or coaxial. RCA connector is the most popular; other types to order. Wall plug can be either UK or Schuko and are filled with a natural mineral Binchō-tan which provides resonance damping.
NEW A new ground cable model has been introduced called Consummate Ground. After evaluating samples both in UK and Schuko plug format, this model takes the GutWire ground cable effect to greater heights, particularly in the area of holography. Whilst the Ultimate Ground offer superb sound staging, the Consummate Ground creates a bigger stage, both left and right but most importantly in the depth, the level of transparency increases and tonal balance is much fuller. Instruments and vocalists are truly in their own space with textures and decay of notes clearly displayed. It is possible to imagine the full dimensionality of each instrument. Piano in particular is rendered in such a way the shape, position and size of the instrument is easily perceived within the recorded venue. Singers are more than just a voice, there is a person standing there in space.
The Consummate Ground cable requires a longer burn-in time than either the Ultimate Ground or the Perfect Ground. Our listening has shown this is approximately 120-200 hours to give optimum performance. This is achieved once connected to an electronic component that is either turned fully on or in standby mode. Hence this burn-in time is achieved in approximately 5 to 9 days. For this reason, customers requiring a home trial prior to purchase will be sent a fully burnt-in demonstration model. If satisfied with the ground cable effect, this will need to be returned and exchanged for a new sample.
Please call to arrange a no obligation home audition. Full refund if not satisfied.
Perfect Ground cable – 6ft (1.83m) – UK or Schuko plug £349
Extra length - £30 per foot
Ultimate Ground - 6 ft (1.83m) - Furutech Gold UK plug £649
Ultimate Ground - 6ft (1.83m) - Wattgate Schuko plug £599
Extra length - £40 per foot
Consummate Ground - 6ft (1.83m) - Furutech Gold UK plug £1300
Extra length £120 per foot
RCA connector is the most popular. XLR, spade, coaxial or clip to order. There is an additional cost of £140 for Furutech FP-601(G) XLR termination.
NEW GutWire USB Cable USBe-1 £360
It is hand-made in Canada and is the first audiophile USB cable to use Beryllium Copper (BeCu) as connector. The gold-plated pin is made of 4N copper with crimped termination (first in the world).
Distribution blocks fed from a single wall socket can have a large effect on the sound and used with quality power cords give a result far in excess of any mains filtering, conditioning or re-generating that we have heard. All without any compression to the sound – in fact quite the opposite is achieved - resulting in an increase in the level of transparency, dynamics and purity of your system’s sound. GutWire have developed a UK and Schuko mains distributor completely without any filtration or electronic additions. We prefer the use of Schuko connectors wherever possible for two reasons. The Schuko pug and socket gives a higher surface area than the UK 13A rectangular pins. The sound improves further due to the fact the fuse in the UK plug is eliminated. These distribution blocks require a power cord to feed them and this is connected to the wall socket with a UK 13 amp plug – preferably a Furutech one.
The 8 Bar Schuko distributor is on a par with the high quality of sound achieved with the Furutech e-TP809E – possibly better - but offers 8 outlets instead of 6 for a lower price.
The 6 Bar UK distributor is made from a solid piece of aluminium that offers superior resonance damping.
UK 6 Bar distributor – 6 UK sockets £3590 (pictured)
Schuko 8 Bar distributor – 8 Schuko sockets, Furutech FI-33 R (16A) IEC inlet (pictured) £2499
Schuko 8 Bar FT distributor – 8 Furutech FI-E30 R Schuko sockets, Furutech FI-33 R (16A) IEC inlet £2999
We will be shortly evaluating samples from this renowned US brand to assess their sound. There is new design technology implemented into all their signal cables, power cables and distributors. We will report in full once we have done our listening trials.
UPDATE. After many attempts to obtain samples for evaluation over the last 12 months, we are disappointed to report that no one from Shunyata Research has responded to our request. We are therefroe looking at alternative brands and at this time are evaluating several new power cords and a mains conditioner from Audioquest. Our findings will follow shortly.